Just a stone’s throw from Glasgow lies the enchantingly beautiful Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Famous for its stunning scenery; the national park offers mountains, lochs, forests and glens across 1,865 square km. There’s so much to see and do in the area, it’s well worth making repeat visits. To make things easier here are the five reasons you need to visit Loch Lomond & The Trossachs.
If you’re also looking for a place to stay, find holiday cottages near Loch Lomond & The Trossachs here.
Photo credit: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Pak
Inchcailloch is an accessible yet remote and wild island in Loch Lomond, just off the coast near the small village of Balmaha. The look and feel of the island shifts dramatically with each season. Spring brings bluebells across the entire island, creating a spellbinding backdrop for the native wildlife. While during summer, the verdant flowers and plant life create a welcoming environment for animals and birds, especially birds of prey which are most likely to be spotted in early summer.
The island boasts what may be the best view in Scotland atop the Summit Path, a difficult climb to the peak. But as with most difficult climbs, the reward is well worth the effort. The path provides climbers with a route dotted with examples of how powerful natural forces have shaped the island to create different homes for flora and fauna.
There are two other walks on Inchcailloch, one is the Central Path from the north pier to Port Brawn. The other is the Low Path – a gentle walk that leads to a tranquil woodland with subtle hints at how humans have helped create a home for wildlife.
The island is accessible by ferry or waterbus. It’s also worth noting while there are compost toilets on the island, there’s no running water. Picnic tables are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.
2. West Highland Way walk
Photo credit: Macs Adventure
Balmaha, a small village on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, is a necessary stop for any walkers attempting the route and allows for an optional diversion to Inchcailloch. As is the pretty village of Killin, home to the famous Falls of Dochart.
The route takes dedicated walkers through spectacular scenery that changes every 30 minutes. Rivers, fields, nature reserves, hills, lochs and mountains are all just part of the reason why this route is considered one of the world’s greatest trails.
While not everyone can complete the full route, walking for an hour or two along the path is certain to take you through incomparable scenery and is well worth doing during your visit.
If you’ve really caught the hiking bug during your stay in Scotland, then it’s worth checking out the Rob Roy Way route too. Another stunning long-distance hiking trail, this route takes you through the Southern Highlands. The trail follows the various tracks and paths used by Rob Roy MacGregor – one of Scotlands most notorious and celebrated outlaws.
3. Bracklinn Falls
Photo credit: Visit Scotland
There are many incredible waterfalls throughout the Loch Lomond National Park, however, the most unique one is Bracklinn Falls. Tucked just under the Bracklinn bridge, it’s easily accessed by anyone and there’s enough room for some baby buggies to fit on the walk to the waterfall.
Located at the edge of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, the waterfall has a carpark nearby to make for even easier access and is a short drive from the picturesque town of Callander. The surrounding area is captivating with plenty of popular walks and is used by many tourists as a base to explore the rest of the National Park.
Light pollution is an unfortunate reality for many parts of the UK. Luckily, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park doesn’t suffer from it quite so badly. Experiencing truly dark skies lets you see over 1,000 stars if weather conditions are right, with an arm of the Milky Way reaching out across the sky.
Dark skies help keep a truly nocturnal environment for the local wildlife and provide a clear backdrop for astronomical events.
If you are planning on heading out to admire the night sky, then you can monitor the local conditions and visibility with this handy website.
5. Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond is Britain’s largest inland stretch of water at 24 miles and is a well-known access point to the Highlands, as well as being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland.
It’d be difficult to find a loch more captivating than Loch Lomond and it’s easy to see why The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond was written in tribute to the natural wonder.
For those who want to do more than enjoy the scenery, there’s a wide array of outdoor activities available. Water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, water skiing and wake surfing are all popular on the loch. Swimmers are also welcome in the area with open water swimming events like the Great Scottish Swim, taking place annually.
While you’re in the area, why not hike up Ben Lomond? One of the most popular Munros, this picturesque mountain is located on the eastern shore of the loch. Standing at 974 metres, you’ll work up a sweat getting to the top, but it’ll all be worth it when you see the view – we promise!